‘Belonging’ by Ben Okri

12 Oct

One of the AOS Belonging texts I suggested that my students read as part of my most recently created TED-Ed activity sequence was Ben Okri’s short story entitled ‘Belonging‘.

The reason why I like students to read this text is to understand that belonging is not always sought after, nor is it always a matter of individual choice.  Indeed, the protagonist in Okri’s story experiences belonging not because he purposefully pursued belonging (“I had gone into a house by accident…”), not because he had a claim on the family, but because “the man of the house took” him “for his in-law, whom he had never met, or had met once before, a long time ago.”

This is also a great text for students to consider if they are studying Skrzynecki’s poetry as their set text.  In many of the poems, the connection to family is stable and constant.  In contrast, in Okri’s text, the connection is ultimately vulnerable to “unmasking.”

One Response to “‘Belonging’ by Ben Okri”


  1. Belonging related texts | Once uPUN a time... - October 12, 2013

    […] ‘Belonging‘, a short story by Ben Okri […]


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